The next interviewee in my series on Home London‘s Homegrown exhibitors is Louise Wilkinson. Louise creates charming illustrations inspired by her childhood in the Yorkshire countryside and her love of animals and nature.
What’s the most important thing to know about you?
I love pictures more than words, tea more than coffee, dogs more than cats and sweet more than savory!
What’s your background? What made you decide to study illustration? How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I always loved drawing as a child and especially loved looking at classic children’s books and old illustrated encyclopaedia’s which I enjoyed studying the small details in the images.
I studied illustration at university and it was great to learn about different aspects of image making. After graduating my first job was working as an illustrator designing the prints, patterns and characters for children’s clothes, drawing everything by hand. I moved to London and worked for a card company for a year and in the fashion industry as a print and textiles designer, whilst also working on freelance book and magazine illustrations.
How does having grown up in Yorkshire influence your work?
My childhood has definitely had an influence, growing up in the countryside around trees and animals. Nature is the starting point of my work.
Liberty stocked your first collection – that must have been very exciting! How did it feel when you found out?
Yes it was very exciting! I’ve always loved Liberty, especially their prints. It was great to launch my first collection in Liberty with a company that has amazing design credentials. To see my china in store along side other lovely products was very exciting.
What’s your favourite part of the designing and making process?
I love researching, creating, drawing and letting your imagination run away. I like getting engrossed in the subtle details of the design process.
What’s the best part of your job?
Drawing, illustrating and seeing my ideas come to life.
Describe a really good day in the life of Louise Wilkinson and a really bad day.
A good day would be drawing and letting my imagination run free with no constraints, going to an exhibition and probably having lots of tea and cake!
A bad day, I don’t like to think of bad days, but maybe lots of admin work.
What are you most proud of?
I think it would have to be having my first collection of china stocked in Liberty, after they discovered my work at the Best of British Open Call. I’ve always loved Liberty and their ethos.
What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?
Just go with your instincts!
And finally, favourite colour please!
Royal blue, kingfisher blue, baby blue, I do like blue… and also grassy green and white!
Further reading for the especially geeky:
Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.
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